“Mama” by Bebe Rexha
Even though the title of this song (“Mama”) makes it seem as if the content therein is familial, the lyrics are actually more religio-philosophical than anything else. And what Bebe is actually speaking to, let’s say comprehensively, is the concept of personal imperfection.
In other words, the vocalist knows that she isn’t pious, having “sold (her) soul” and all. And it’s as if she is wondering where all of this is going to ultimately lead. Like is there actually an afterlife where people account for their deeds, or does it all ‘just end on Earth’?
So it’s almost as if there is a feeling of futility in the wording, being reflective of someone who feels she tried her best yet still feels short of perhaps the more-perfect character her “mama” envisioned her to have.
Indeed this is another track on “Better Mistakes” in which Bebe Rexha is acknowledging that she has her issues in terms of maintaining fruitful interpersonal relationships. But she also acknowledges that underneath it all, she has a good heart. That is to say that she doesn’t consider herself to be a bad person per se.
But at the same time, the impression given is that she’s not killing herself trying to be good either. It’s more like she has embraced her own imperfections and mistakes. And as far as her mother is concerned, i.e. the one who has advised her to live a better life, the singer also perceives her as someone who has sold her own soul ‘a long time ago’.
So in a way, it’s as if she is following in her mother’s footsteps. And in the name of keeping it real, she also wants to let “mama” know that no, her daughter is far from a perfect little angel.
All in all
So this is an interesting song, to say the least, and there’s a lot going on therein. And in all, it seems to be representative of some type of existential meditation of Bebe Rexha’s. And perhaps the simplest way to describe what’s going on in this relatively-complex piece is as the narrator questioning the role of morality in the grand scheme of life.
Facts about “Mama”
This is the 13th and final track on the playlist of “Better Mistakes”, the album Bebe Rexha put out on 7 May 2021 as her second. And she had notably teased the coming of this song in particular shortly before its release.
At three minutes and eight seconds in length, “Mama” is also the longest song on the aforementioned album.
One of the credited co-writers of this tune is Freddie Mercury (1946-1991). And that is because Mama samples the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975), which he wrote.
The other co-writers of “Mama” are Bebe Rexha, Alexander Dexter-Jones, Justin Tranter and the track’s two producers, Jussifer and Brian Lee. And the label that put it out is Warner Records.
Was this a single release?
No. That being said, below are all the official singles released from “Better Mistake”: